Rare is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the auction world, but at the Premiere Firearm Auction – taking place Sept. 13, 14 and 15 at the Rock Island Auction Company in Rock Island, Ill., and online at iCollector.com – it truly applies.
Many of the items that will be on the block are among the most cherished antiques and collectibles in the firearms world, and they have been in the hands of their collectors for decades. It really is rare that such a large assortment of pristine, classic and hard-to-find firearms makes its way onto the gun auctions circuit.
The best of the best
While it is hard to pick out just a few of the beautiful specimens that will be available, the highlight might be the Smith & Wesson .44 Double-Action Frontier Model revolver that was factory engraved with gold inlay by renowned engraver Gustave Young.
The revolver, which was on display at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, is a classic part of Western Americana due to its use by noted 19th century Nevada lawman Claude Inman, who used it to clean up the scoundrel-besieged town of Goldfield during its gold rush.
There are few revolvers surviving today that hold more historic significance and have a more lively pedigree. It is accompanied by several photos of Inman with the gun, an unpublished manuscript telling his story and a photocopied, handwritten letter from Inman's son testifying to the fact that his father receiver the piece from Tex Rickard. Rickard was a historic character in his own right, who owned a saloon in Goldfield before moving to New York City and becoming the foremost boxing promoter of his day, founding the NHL's Rangers hockey team and building the third incarnation of Madison Square Garden.
The rest are among the best
While the exquisite Smith & Wesson revolver and its accompanying artifacts top the auction's bill, there are so many other examples of beautiful historic and contemporary firearms from which to choose.
Featuring weapons from the collections of well-known enthusiasts like William Goddard, John M. Olin and Chuck and Sharon Lindley, there are such awe-inspiring showpieces as a 1921 Colt Model "Thompson" Submachine gun, a Smith & Wesson .44 Double-Action First Model revolver that was once owned by infamous outlaw Emmett Dalton and a 1917, fully-functional Westinghouse Browning Model Machine Gun that comes with a tripod, mount, water can and hose.
The Premier Firearm Auction truly lives up to its billing, and for those who can't make it to Rock Island next week to see and bid on these impeccable pieces in person, you can peruse the inventory and start your bidding at iCollector.com.